Sharables Lesson 1 – Not Good Enough Samaritan
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor
Yesterday, we looked at “Who is my neighbor?” I wonder if that is the question Jesus was answering. Let’s look at the context again in Luke 10:25-29.
“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”
The part that bothers me is the attitude of the lawyer, “Desiring to justify himself.” Maybe Jesus was addressing the first question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
If loving God and loving others summarizes the Law, and the Law cannot save, then our love (works) is not ever enough.
The lawyer was still trying to justify himself to earn eternal life. I like how Martin Luther King Jr. shows this distinction, “On the parable of the Good Samaritan: I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But by the very nature of his concern, the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
The focus should not be on our works or us. Our focus should be on God and others. Author William M. Holden was bold in saying, “Hell is paved with good Samaritans.” Our works mean nothing. We cannot save ourselves. It is only the work of Jesus Christ that allows salvation.
The lawyer wanted to justify himself. He could not. We cannot.
Love God for who He is and what He has done.
Love others for their sake.
Love others because it pleases God.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).